The Lincoln, a new pub in the Gateway Village precinct, will officially open on Saturday, October 22.
The business is owned by local families Callum and Emma McNicol, Dan O’Connell and his partner Kristy Jakic, while the building is now owned by a group of local investors.
Venue manager Emma Harrison said there was a lot of excitement brewing.
“We are very excited to open, it’s been a long time coming,” she said.
“A lot of passion and love has been put into it, not only by the owners, but the staff too.
“The staff are excited to get in here and start pouring drinks, making meals, and seeing the venue full of life.
“We have already had lots of interest for private functions, Christmas parties and weddings.”
The former Palatinat Brewery opened in 1998 and has since been a variety of businesses over the years.
Renovations started four months ago and have included major structural changes, including the relocation of the inside staircase, space for a future elevator, a new commercial kitchen and large automatic sliding doors leading out to the beer garden.
The beer garden will have outdoor seating and umbrellas, a new ramp for disability access and covered terrace areas.
Some of the original toilets were demolished to create more space in the dining area and allowing the old toilets to be renovated, including a disabled toilet with enough room for a wheelchair to move around.
Emma said the biggest change people would notice was the colour palette.
“It’s no longer dark everywhere, that’s probably the biggest change because there was black paint everywhere,” she said.
“We have lightened it right up using colours to make it feel warmer and more welcoming.”
Emma said a lot of the key architectural features of the original building had been retained, including the original tiles in the entry, bar area and grand hall.
“It was an incredible architectural design in its day,” she said.
“All the original brick, tiles and arch windows are the same.
“The grand hall is the biggest feature, I feel, with the grand ceiling that is the original when it was built and it’s very cathedral-like in its grandeur.”
The venue’s name honours Merv Lincoln, a Wodonga-raised athlete who was the 11th person in the world to run a mile in under four minutes. The Lincoln Causeway was named in his honour.
“A lot of people don’t know that Gateway Island is its own space between Albury and Wodonga CBDs,” Emma said.
“We are trying to link the two cities together and there’s already a hub here with Gateway Lakes and the concerts held there, the farmers’ markets, La Maison, cultural and art precinct the HotHouse Theatre and Butter Factory Theatre.”
The venue can seat approximately 350 people downstairs and 200 people upstairs.
Function spaces comprise the grand hall downstairs, a large upstairs room with river views that is perfect for wedding receptions, an intimate cocktail lounge/whisky den and also the newly renovated beer garden.
“We are a gastro-pub and the definition is high-quality food, fine drinks and quality service and that’s what we are offering,” Emma said.
Pub food favourites such as chicken parmigiana and steak will be on the menu, with smaller serves for children.
Families can keep children entertained with an activity space in the outdoor beer garden, as well as space for kids to kick soccer balls and footballs around on the large grass area backing onto the property.
Emma said the owners of the business and the building are locals which means they know the area well.
“These families either grew up here, have gone and come back, and wanted to invest back in the city they love,” she said.
“A lot of people know Dan from The Goods Shed, so he’s a familiar face.
“When people come in here to dine, they will see the owners who will be on the floor working with us and they will be able to chat about why they are passionate about the building and the business itself.”
The pub will operate Wednesday to Sunday from 11am until late.
The business is looking for experienced bar staff to join the team.
Hospitality staff can register interest at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bookings are being taken for lunch, dinner and functions, phone (02) 6041 1114.